Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas Get Pilloried by Don Stapley

A conservative, we all know, is a liberal who's been mugged. So what's a conservative who's been wrongly arrested?

My answer: Don Stapley.

Until recently, the longtime county supervisor had a reputation as a middle-of-the-road Arizona Republican — a Mormon with serious roots in the community (Stapley Drive got its name from his great-grandfather) and mainstream views. He dabbled in development and got along with the business community. He used his bully pulpit to take on such obvious villains as crystal meth and breast cancer. His son and daughter-in-law both worked for the Sheriff's Office.

Then came the indictment, charging Stapley with 118 criminal counts for what were essentially paperwork errors. And, after their dismissal, there was an arrest, without an indictment or even a prosecutor's involvement. There was an announcement that Stapley's assistant was under investigation, for the shocking "crime" of notarizing some paperwork on behalf of his private business. There was, finally, a second indictment.

And of course there were lawyer fees, big fat lawyer fees: more than $1 million at last count.

The upshot, I think, is that Stapley's been radicalized.

Don't get me wrong: He's not about to join Students for a Democratic Society or fight for socialized medicine. But I do think that his arrest has made him keenly aware of the power of unchecked law enforcement. (I don't think it's a coincidence that Stapley's son has quit the Sheriff's Office and now works for the public defender.)

And just as I believe the world would benefit from a few more liberals getting mugged, it's been refreshing to me to see this politically connected conservative's response to some very bad things: He's now using his office to help publicize Sheriff Joe Arpaio's abuses.

Last week, in fact, Stapley and fellow supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox held a forum at the supervisors' auditorium on Jefferson Street. The two politicians made brief opening remarks, then almost immediately turned the floor over to an activist group that's made its name calling for Arpaio's head.

The Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability, led by attorney Randy Parraz, has been raising hell about Arpaio for two years, both on the streets and at meetings of the board of supervisors. The latter location has proved especially problematic: Sheriff's deputies have repeatedly arrested group members who've spoken out, and the county attorney has prosecuted them for disorderly conduct. (In every case, they've been acquitted.)

That contentious history is one reason last week's meeting was so remarkable. Because Stapley and Wilcox invited the group to a "private meeting" — wink wink — the sheriff's deputies providing security had no choice but to stand by and listen to activists rail against them. As the television cameras recorded, a series of presenters detailed the problems with Arpaio: his mismanagement, his abuse of power, his poor law enforcement techniques.

It was all the more powerful because the speakers, for the most part, were in Arpaio's target demographic. Chad Snow is a clean-cut Mormon attorney who voted for the sheriff four times before seeing the light. Tommy Collins is a retired lieutenant commander of a Colorado police department who, upon moving to Arizona, "made the mistake of voting for Joe Arpaio" in the 2004 Republican primary. His words.

Now both men have become crusaders.

"I'm also a fiscal conservative," Snow told the supervisors, "and as a fiscal conservative, I'm outraged."

Collins was just as pointed. "Where is Adrian Cruz today?" he demanded, referring to the child rapist who slipped out of the sheriff's custody one year ago and has yet to be apprehended.

Those are fighting words. Yet with Stapley and Wilcox on the dais, listening and even nodding, there was nothing the sheriff's men could do.

And then Stapley spoke.

The headline that's come out of the meeting is that Stapley called Arpaio and his sidekick, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, "evil." As usual, the headline is a bit of an oversimplification: Stapley did say that, but his remarks in context are even more worthy of quotation.

Stapley talked about how he and a colleague — presumably another county supervisor — had a little chuckle over a headline in the Arizona Republic referring to the fact that Arpaio and Thomas had been forced to drop their racketeering lawsuit accusing the supervisors of being part of a criminal enterprise. Although Stapley didn't specify, I think the story must have been a March 17 editorial claiming "County Drama Concludes with a Whimper."

But the drama isn't over, as Stapley and his colleague are well aware. Yes, Arpaio and Thomas had to drop the inane lawsuit. And, yes, even their desperate attempt to save face has been exposed as a lie, and a clumsy one at that.

We now know Arpaio and Thomas did not dismiss the suit because they've finally gotten the U.S. Department of Justice to take up the investigations, as they claimed at a press conference two weeks ago. The Justice Department, we now know, only agreed to review the accusations in the way they'd review any accusations from a citizen. The director of the agency's Public Integrity Section actually sent Arpaio and Thomas' lawyer a blistering letter, condemning their dog-and-pony show and reminding him that it's Arpaio and Thomas whom the feds are actively investigating.

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24 comments
Coz
Coz

As I've said before, none of the abuses mattered to any of them and they let it go and looked the other way for years until finally they became a victim's, then and only then did the shit hit the fan.

I have no respect for Stapley or any of the Board Stupidvisors...

The only up side is, if it didn't happen to them, many would still be suffering the abuse by Arpaio and his merry band of Goons.

So I guess there is at least one upside to all of this after all.

Tom Hamlyn
Tom Hamlyn

Since the publication of this article, Candy Thomas has announced his resignation so he can run to be Arizona's next AG. Of course, if his law license gets pulled it might make it a bit difficult to assume that position!

Also, what is Nickel Bag Joe now going to do without his Siamese twin backstopping him? It makes me kind of feel sorry for him - NOT!!!

Investigator looking for infor
Investigator looking for infor

My gosh, this column is filled with useful information. You're making my job easier. Thank you people for coming forward.

Coz
Coz

Don't you just love it Sarah :-)

craig
craig

Former Republican, the evidence is overwhelming you are either Stapley or a county insider. Stapley is a pillar of strength? He raises money for an office he was already president-elect and then proceeds to use the money for hair plugs, electronics, family vacation and other personal things. The New Times ran an article years ago going after candidates who used clean election funds for personal use. If anyone else were prosecuting this the New Times would be all over Stapley. The New Times already pointed out his crooked real estate dealings. Lastly were you as insulted when Arpaio and Terry Goddard went after Sandra Dowling at Stapley's request?

pacer
pacer

Just need to say thank you because I am thoroughly enjoying Arizona politics. 

P S – Sheriff Arpaio as a fellow Veteran in Pennsylvania with a BA in the BS of political science, I would be honored to volunteer for your 2016 campaign should you decide to run for the office you deserve; The Office of the President of the United States.

Arnold Ziffle
Arnold Ziffle

Where's Joel Fox? I'm sure he could clear up all of this! It's just a little misunderstanding is all. Joel, where are you when we need you?

callmecrazy
callmecrazy

Where is there any indication that law enforcement is under more control in a liberal political climate?

Quite the opposite would be my guess. Remember the Mass. cop who arrested Obama's professor friend?

And as far as politicians using their resources to exact vengeance - Isn't that what this story should be exposing? Principles changing with the wind direction - There's conviction for you.

The premise of this entire article is founded on political misinformation intended to twist the minds of it's readers into believing something that isn't true. What a surprise that is.

OMG
OMG

Sarah,

You note, "I'm increasingly convinced that the investigation into Arpaio and Thomas is both active and incredibly serious."

I am inclined to agree with you Sarah. It is quite difficult to "watch" a Federal investigation such as those currently underway. We don't know what they know, but we know bits and pieces of it. With whom have they spoken to? We don't know, but we know some of the names. What have they been told? We know some of it, but not all, probably only a small percentage. We don't even know for sure what civil rights have been violated or are being investigated. We don't know what crimes are being considered. We have ideas, but don't know for sure. What is the identity of the suspects? We have a good idea, but I doubt we know all the names.

It is tough to watch this investigation because it is being done by a team or teams of professionals that will likely be thorough, honest, and will either build a case or cases as the facts or logic dictate or will come to a conclusion that the facts and evidence don't support a case.

This is a radical departure from a typical politically motivated Maricopa County investigation in which the 'criminal' is identified before the crime is identified. In Maricopa County, people are assassinated in reputation through public "lynchings" aka press conferences when charges are not even supported or conceiveable. The most graphic is the charging of Judge Donahoe.

Yes, it will be interesting to see what the Feds come up with. I would bet that there will be charges that I have not thought of. If this circus did not cost the MCSO/MCAO victims their reputations and cash and if it did not cost the taxpayers a lot of money, it would be a pretty entertaining show.

Amos and Anus of Maricopa Coun
Amos and Anus of Maricopa Coun

Sarah: Any reason why the bills for the celebrity DC lawyers "hired" by Thomas without proper approval haven't surfaced? These shameful jokes were brought to town, put up in a hotel, paid, fed and even participated in a trumped up news conference. The bills appear to be hidden somewhere.Perhaps the Colorado investigator into Andrew Thomas could shed some light on what that fiasco cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County. And whether or not Thomas violated yet ANOTHER procurement code by hiring these talk show clowns to attempt to give these bogus charges some publicity. I for one would like to see the entire transactions posted. That money was wasted - pure and simple. Another attempt to intimidate public officials with aging wanna be's. Andrew Thomas looks like a fool and watching the videos of Thomas and Arpaio frothing at the mouth with their prize "catches" from DC makes me want to vomit. I want to know how much money taxpayers paid for their egos to be fed.

Lets get the party started
Lets get the party started

Hey Arpaio/Thomas and Hendershott:

Worried about the Grand Jury reconvening next week?Thomas: are you worried about the Ethics probe that could result in your loss of your license to "practice" law?Arpaio and Hendershott: are you worried about the DOJ probe into the civil rights violations you've blatantly carried on?If you guys were smart you would be.

The party is starting and YOU are not invited

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

A reporter asked us after the meeting if we thought that Stapley and Wilcox were only speaking out against Arpaio because they had been the targets of his abuse of power. I think the opposite is true - they were the targets of his abuse of power because they were the only two supervisors with the guts to call him on his fiscal irresponsibility (Stapley) and contempt for constitutional rights (Wilcox). I take my hat off to these two courageous individuals for standing against "evil" when it was clearly dangerous to do so.

TommyC
TommyC

Sarah, so much to say, and so little space and time. Sheesh. Kudos to you. Hey, I know that Tommy guy who spoke at the MCSA meeting. He seems serious and I am of the impression he is disgusted and embarrassed by this agency called MCSO that is parading around dressed in the camouflage of professional law enforcement. So, I would imagine this Tommy guy is my alter-ego. Go figure. I can't tell you how impressed I am by Randy Parraz and Chad Snow. Both of whom have been victimized by MCSO. Chad, when he was arrested at a public meeting when MCSO thought he was Randy, and then 'unarrested', "wups, you're not the right guy". And Randy, who was arrested for standing on a public street in a public place for nothing more than 'Contempt of MCSO, a felony". I got to see Chad and Randy in action, and listen to their thoughts and words, their ideals and their passions, knowing they are the catalyst behind the change that is about to happen. Yes, Sarah, I will include you as part of the catalyst, and ALL those other victims I know and can't divulge with personal names, who are taking on the cancer of MCSO. One step at a time. Crushing toes, then fingers. Making those selfish bastards squirm and wonder what's next. It's going to be just. Justice, and liberty, for all.

EnughisEnough
EnughisEnough

Pardon the double post. LISA ALLEN is the dog groomer who used public monies and services to launch her dog grooming business from the Wells Fargo Building of the Sheriff's Office. In my haste, I gave that dubious credit to Lisa Aubuchon.

EnoughisEnough
EnoughisEnough

So, an investigation is conducted by MCSO into Stapley's assistant for notarizing a document that was personal to Stapley?

LISA ALLEN, the MCSO mouthpiece and Hendershott employee PREPARED AND USED COUNTY RESOURCES AT THE WELLS FARGO BUILDING to get her little dog grooming business going. Arizona Corporation Commission records will show that the documents were notarized by one of Hendershott's employees.

Selective and targeted harassment? You betcha. MCSO has been systematically investigating "corruption" while their own are knee deep in it.

Just how much did it cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County to assist Lisa Allen in getting her Dog Grooming Business off the ground? How many clerical employees assisted her? Why was she using the notary services of one of Hendershott's employees?

Check the records yourself. That's going to make GREAT testimony when the lawsuits begin.

EnoughisEnough
EnoughisEnough

So, an announcement that Stapley's assistant is under investigation for signing a document personal to Stapley?

LISA AUBUCHON used the RESOURCES and the OFFICE of the COUNTY SHERIFF to file her personal dog grooming business with the Corporation Commission. The notarized signature on her application is that of one of HENDERSHOTT'S employees - ALL DONE ON THE TAXPAYERS DIME WHILE AT THE WELLS FARGO BUILDING.

Is Lisa Allen above the law? Is Hendershott above the law allowing LISA ALLEN to incorporate HER dog grooming business and use county staff but they harass others for signatures?

The records of the Arizona Corporation Commission back up this information.

SELECTIVE, VINDICTIVE AND TARGETED HARASSMENT OF OTHERS while turning a blind eye to the activities of Hendershott's employees.

That should look GREAT in a court of law.

David Nichols
David Nichols

Many have been Harrased by The Third World Tactics of Arpio and his hench men. Arpio obviously learned a lot while working in Mexico with an openly Corrupt Government!

He has taught a select group of his Deputies that they are above the Law , they can Lie under Oath, Steal, (even in a Court Room) take peoples hard earned belongings, turn them into Ricoh Funds miss use, even launder the illgotten money through different accounts, then Embezel it, Abuse Athority, intimidate and harrass any one he wants, yell at Women on Public T.V., Beat/Torture persons in custody even Kill them with no repercussions, because he has become Judge Jury and Executioner in Arizona.

Arpio has Endorsed, possibly payed to put in place various Arizona Elected Officials, including Former Deputy Racist Rusell Pearce, he has reportedly bought Andrew Thomas an S.U.V. with red lights, with miss used Ricoh Funds.

In return Thomas has turned a blind eye to Arpio's obious Civil and Human rights abuses!

In Short Arpio has Biult quite an Evil Empire in Arizona.

Why not, the Sheriff before Arpio, and Deputie Hendershot staged the largest Drug Bust in Arizona History at Saguaro Lake just before Election time, using Drugs from the evidence locker, then calling the Media to come and see!

Arizona is no Stanger to Government Corruption.

Indict Arpio!

To: True Justice for All.

Part of the Club
Part of the Club

Having been prosecuted by this County Attorney and having spent one of my childrens college funds only to have all the charges s dismissed and then recharged and having the grand jury not indict. I can only say that these bullies deserve everything they get. The county attorney did nothing to the man who ran my son down and left him for dead but yet targeted me. Selective and malicious. EVIL sums it up and Thomas is evil Alexander and Aubuchoun are just stupid. The membership price has been far to high and the only satisfaction we will get is when they are indicted by the DOJ.

The Sheriff's Dirty Little Sec
The Sheriff's Dirty Little Sec

Hey readers! How about the TOUCH PAY SYSTEM that inmate families are encouraged to use at the jails? Are you readers aware that the owners/managers and employees gave the maximum amount to good old Joe's last campaign? It's all on the pubic record. Even the out of state managers. They must have been so impressed with the Sheriff that they donated even though they are not living in Maricopa County. Now tell me readers, just where does the money Arpaio make on these "administrative costs" that the inmate families pay go to? One guess should be sufficient.

FormerRepublican
FormerRepublican

Wonder how Hendershott's friend Danny Hendon is doing these days - with all the creditor lawsuits, etc. Must be okay, because the infamous DENNIS WILINCHIK is representing him on several matters. Just a coincidence I suppose. Wilenchik said in a deposition to the courts that he wasn't a friend of Arpaio and Thomas. My....must be just pure chance that he represents one of Arpaio's biggest butt buddies.Kind of like the coincidence that the county TAX DOLLARS are going to pay for services like auto spas, car washes, LUX AIR SERVICES...all owned by the Danny's Car Wash kingpins turned DEBTORS THAT ARE BEING SUED BY LOTS'O'FOLKS. Doesn't stop them from showing the Sheriff a little love now, does it?Boy, when the Sheriff and County Attorney owe a favor they pay up big time. Danny's Car Wash hasn't been raided yet....and yet we've heard numerous reports that it should have been.Federal Authorities......please examine THIS scenario.

the end is near
the end is near

There was an announcement that Stapley's assistant was under investigation, for the shocking "crime" of notarizing some paperwork on behalf of his private business.

Heard that the assistant was planning on suing them too. Wonder how the State Bar, the judiciary and the general public will feel about the malicious and selective harassment of innocent victims.

FormerRepubliican
FormerRepubliican

If ANY readers have been TARGETED, HARASSED or otherwise hassled by the Sheriff's Office, or you have information about dirty contracts, relationships or deals that were made in the back room, please come forward now.. Rumor has it the Grand Jury meets again next week for 3 days. Media coverage can't hurt.How about the raids on places like Lindstrom Family Car Wash while the deputies are hosted by Danny Hendon of Danny's Car Wash? Anybody smell a little problem here? Is it possible that Danny's 20th Street and Highland location needed a little "business boost" so that putting a competitor on the noose would increase Danny's business? How about Danny hosting all those deputies and treating them like kings? Protection against raids? Likely.And, what about the MCI bus? Did ANYBODY at MCSO receive a kickback from the purchase of this monstrosity? MCSO sucks and they know now that the public has ZERO faith in them.Andrew Thomas needs to be strung up by his jock strap for allowing his "client" to abuse the taxpayer.

FormerRepiublican
FormerRepiublican

Don Stapley has been a pillar of strength. Hendershott - who is actively being investigated along with Thomas and Arpaio - should RUN to the nearest criminal attorney and turn over their paychecks.Sarah: What about the Pragmatica Contract? The Sheriff's Office stopped an investigation by county auditors into that little sinkhole.Could it be that Hendershott and his son little Hendy are up to their wallets in benefits from this contract?And how about the Communication Posse that has a detention officer (friend)hired by MCSO into the Detention Academy AFTER he was appointed as the statutory agent for this money collecting posse? Communication Posse? Any chance that Hendershott doesn't want the dirty laundry blowing in the wind?Also, how about Paul Chagollas kid getting the job as a Detention Officer above all the other "overly qualified" applicants? Who was passedup so that Hendershott could keep Paul Chagolla happy? Anybody better qualified?And lastly...how's Ben Armer doing in the MACE unit? It should be noted by your readers that the Federal authorities as well as the state authorities have all the information on the relationship between the Gila county sheriff John Armer and David Hendershott. So good is the relationship that Hendershott keeps the Gila Sheriff's kid on his MACE unit. Funny...isn't that the same "impartial party" that Hendershott turned the Stapley and Wilcox files over to?David Hendershott, Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas need a lawsuit enema. I'm hoping to give them just what they asked for.

 
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